This was an online discussion with Marxist economist Michael Roberts, with participants from several different countries.
Read the introduction to the online discussion from Roger Siliverman:
Welcome. This meeting has been organised by the Workers’ International Network, and we’re happy to see comrades present from Britain, the USA, France, Sweden, Denmark, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Ireland, and maybe more countries too, all prominent activists in the labour movement. Internationalism has never been more essential than at this time.
We’re meeting at a crucial turning point in world history. So far more than 200,000 people have died worldwide, and the total could reach millions. In Britain alone, the projection is over 80,000 deaths. But this pandemic is just the start of the convulsions that will grip the planet. A prolonged economic slump like that of the 1930s or even worse lies ahead. Already before the pandemic struck, there was an unprecedented global wave of uprisings, stretching across at least 35 countries spread across four continents, with tens of thousands on the streets, braving tear gas and bullets, and bringing several governments crashing to their downfall. The plague and the lockdown have temporarily cut across this process and there has been a sudden pause in the struggle, but these experiences have stripped bare the hopeless incapacity of capitalism to meet human needs or sustain human civilisation and even the very survival of the species. We can be sure of intensified turmoil and social unrest for years to come.
We invite comrades who are not already subscribers to read our journal ON THE BRINK and visit our website www.onthebrink.online. We will be holding more zoom meetings periodically and will keep you all informed by e-mail.
We’re proud to introduce today the Marxist economist Michael Roberts, who writes the outstanding blog www.thenextrecession.wordpress.com, to explain the economic consequences of the pandemic. We have already circulated fifteen questions to Michael, and you’re welcome to raise further questions in the course of this discussion.